Premier League team of the Christmas period starting XI
Following the post-Christmas Premier League matches, on Boxing Day and Sunday, Coral football writers have put together a starting XI team of the best players from those fixtures.
Goalkeeper: Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea City)
The only man to have featured in one game from this team, due to his side playing on Monday night against Liverpool, but his super save against Aston Villa on Boxing Day from Christian Benteke in injury time helped his club secure a win. He is an 11/2 chance to keep a clean sheet against the Reds.
Centre back: Toby Alderweireld (Southampton)
On-loan Atletico Madrid defender Alderweireld has highly impressed for the Saints this season. The Belgian helped his side to a victory away at Crystal Palace by scoring, before restricting Chelsea to a draw, making a crucial block from Willian’s shot along the way.
Centre back: Ryan Shawcross (Stoke City)
Stoke’s skipper helped his side to two clean sheets and two wins in the few days after Christmas, away at Everton and then at home to West Bromwich Albion. Shawcross cut his head against the Toffees but heroically carried on.
Centre back: Phil Jones (Manchester United)
Jones had a stormer against Newcastle United, putting in crucial challenges and surging runs throughout, despite causing a penalty at the end, but by then the game was over. He then gained a clean sheet against Tottenham.
Central midfield: Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
England and Red Devils captain Rooney really is the complete player, and was used in a number of roles against the Magpies and then Spurs, even in a deep lying midfield position. He got two goals and an assist in the 3-1 win over Newcastle.
Attacking midfield: David Silva (Manchester City)
City have been without a striker for the past couple of games, but Silva stepped up getting a goal and assist to help down West Brom, before scoring against Burnley, despite his side drawing in the end.
Attacking midfield: Juan Mata (Manchester United)
Mata caused havoc at White Hart Lane, being involved in nearly every United attack, although his side were unable to win. The Spaniard set up a goal against Newcastle, though.
Right wing: Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke City)
The Senegal attacker was used in a number of roles in his side’s two festive fixtures, but was on target twice to down the Baggies and lift his side to within touching distance of the top 10 (2/1 chances to do so).
Left wing: Sadio Mane (Southampton)
After opening the scoring against Palace, helping the Saints to a victory, the winger then netted first in the draw with Chelsea.
Striker: Papiss Cisse (Newcastle United)
This man simply can’t stop scoring, with nine in 13 games so far this term, despite being used relatively sparingly. Got a late penalty against Man Utd and then helped his side along the way to a tense win over Everton with another goal.
Striker: Harry Kane (Tottenham)
Another forward in top form, young English star Kane hit his 15th goal of the season in all competitions against Leicester City to help beat them, and caused problems for Man Utd by setting up a number of Spurs chances.